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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky
Working on the solid nonviolent principle that we should transform our enemies, PN brings you a slightly tongue-in-cheek column dedicated to getting to know our"enemies" better.
Love your enemy - everyone can change: Kevin Stanley Beeston
Well my lovelies, this month we're meeting mister Kevin Stanley Beeston.
Not heard of him? Shame. He's a busy man. He's top dog at SERCO. Not heard of it? Chances are it's heard of you. It does it all: leisure centres, hospitals, prisons, railways, national rail enquiries, and nuclear weapons. In 2003 it made #11million gross profit from PFI and it's ambition is to be “up there” with KBR in the global “support services” industry.
Who ya gonna call?
When a 54-year-old coughed blood after swallowing plastic in a hospital meal - who apologised for “any distress”? Serco. When a Manchester tram veered off the track and into a pylon - who apologised? Serco Metrolink. Whose palm was well greased in the 2003 Dounreay cleanup? Step forward Serco Assurance. When Save the Children was told to end all criticism of military action in Iraq by its powerful US wing in order to avoid jeopardising financial support from Washington and corporate donors, whose sensitivities were mentioned in memos? Serco's.
Out and proud
Serco is huge - at its Bartley Wood Business Park address there are 58 Serco companies registered. Before Beeston took over at Serco, they rarely talked to the press. They were clothed in shadow and respected by Government - which provides more than four-fifths of Serco's work. Now, they are out and proud that they profit from plutonium, that their coffers are filled by the masters of war.
Go on - make his day
Beeston himself seems a cheery, portly chap who, when not concerned with overseeing Serco's running of Aldermaston, is a non-executive director of Ipswich Town Football Club. His vision - he said in an interview in the Sunday Times - is of a more publicly accountable Serco. So let's help him make that a reality. It's not hard. Go on - make Mister Beeston's day - buy a share!